There has been a cautious response to Scottish Goverment plans to create a national police force.
The government intends to push through legislation to merge Scotland’s eight forces.
The reforms, which also include changes to the fire service, will save around £130 million a year. An eight-week consultation has now started.
In response, Midlothian Council’s spokesman on community safety, councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “As with every public service across Scotland the police are facing a challenging future. At the moment we don’t yet know how the changes to the police will impact on Midlothian.
“However, it would appear they could have a significant impact on operational accountability at both a local and national level.
“Policing is not solely about law enforcement. Engagement with the council and communities as stakeholders is vital. This partnership working helps to keep crime rates at an all time low and keep communities feeling safer. Focusing on maintaining and improving these achievements is especially important at a time of reducing budgets.”
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Don’t miss next week’s Advertiser (September 22) for detailed analysis of what the plans mean for Midlothian